THE devastating consequences of drink driving have been outlined by one of the police officers behind the Dorset Police Christmas drink and drug driving campaign.
Death, injury and collision damage, as well as possible imprisonment, driving bans and huge fines are all consequences of the socially unacceptable offence, said Sergeant Nikki Burt.
She was speaking outside Bournemouth magistrates’ court as more people charged with drink and drug driving related offences were facing the music behind its doors.
The Daily Echo has joined forces with Dorset Police to name and shame all those convicted of such offences during the festive campaign.
But Sgt Burt stressed that those who avoided detection during December are not off the hook.
“This campaign has identified that there are still people who continue to drive having had alcohol to drink” she said. “Although we have enhanced campaigns at Christmas and in the summer, this offence remains a priority for Dorset Police throughout the year.”
She said anyone thinking of driving should avoid alcohol altogether adding: “One drink is one too many. Drivers are in control of a potentially lethal weapon and there are still fatal collisions happening where alcohol is a factor.”
She urged anyone planning to drink alcohol to arrange transport with a nominated driver or taxi, or to arrange accommodation.
And she also asked members of the public to report anyone they suspect is breaking the law.
“Call 999 if it is happening at the time or 101 with non-urgent information about drink drivers” she said.
A total of 65 people were charged with such offences in Dorset during the Christmas campaign and many have already appeared before magistrates in Bournemouth and Weymouth. Others will come before the courts during the rest of January and in February.
Third more motorists are breathalysed
A third more drivers were breathalysed during Dorset Police’s Christmas drink and drive campaign last year, compared with 2012.
A total of 1,472 breath tests were carried out by officers between December 1 and New Year’s Day, compared with 1,107 during the 2012 campaign – an increase of 33 per cent.
The Force recorded 103 positive breath tests during the campaign, compared to 101 in 2012. This saw the percentage of people supplying positive breath tests drop from nine per cent in 2012 to seven per cent in 2013.
Every driver involved in a collision or stopped while committing a moving road traffic offence during the campaign was breath tested, irrespective of whether they were suspected of drink driving or not.
In all, 430 breath tests were carried out following collisions, of these 25 were positive or the individual refused or failed to provide.
A total of 108 people were arrested during the campaign. Of these 65 people aged between 18 and 75 were charged – 16 women and 49 men.